I went to Tocache this week with several members of the TechnoServe team. The ride out was a great opportunity for me to practice speaking Spanish, to get to know the team better and learn more about the current cacao projects underway, including the history and long-term goals. The cacao producers in this area are more advanced than the rest of Peru because they’ve implemented simple pruning and fertilization techniques which can double or triple yields – the techniques being taught in other regions. TechnoServe is working with some local associations to coordinate their deliveries, and thereby take advantage of economies of scale to shorten the supply chain and increase revenue share to local producers. As productivity increases at the farm level, critical mass in volumes can be achieved with fewer nodes of aggregation along the supply chain. This is one of the key, internal developments in the Peruvian cacao business where TechnoServe intervenes. Validation of the assumptions and efficacy of this evolution is a part of my research. On Saturday there was a fair in the town square back in Tarapoto, organized by TechnoServe and featured local chocolate entrepreneurs. It was very successful in that the entrepreneurs got great exposure for their businesses, and those who attended got their fill of chocolate!

The Volunteer

Don Suskind

SVP, Head of ETF Product Management Newport Beach, California

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